Diagnosing hiccups 

In most cases there is no need to see your GP if you have hiccups because they are not usually a sign of anything serious and will pass in a few minutes.

However, you should see your GP if you have hiccups that frequently come back or last longer than 48 hours. They can try to identify a possible cause and determine whether any further investigation or treatment is necessary.

Your GP may want to examine you. This might include examining your head and neck (including your mouth), your chest, and your abdomen (tummy).


If it is thought your hiccups could be related to an underlying condition, you may be referred for further tests. These may include:

In some cases, an endoscopy may be recommended. This procedure examines the inside of your body using an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible tube with a light source and a video camera at one end).

An endoscope can be used to examine different areas of the body, depending on where the suspected problem lies. For example, an endoscopy may be carried out to assess your oesophagus (gullet) and stomach if your doctor thinks your hiccups may be related to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Page last reviewed: 15/09/2014

Next review due: 15/07/2017